[roh-uh n, rou-]


the European mountain ash, Sorbus aucuparia, having pinnate leaves and clusters of bright red berries.
either of two American mountain ashes, Sorbus americana or S. sambucifolia.
the berry of any of these trees.

Origin of rowan

1795–1805; < Old Norse *raun- in reynir, Norwegian raun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rowan

Contemporary Examples of rowan

Historical Examples of rowan

British Dictionary definitions for rowan



another name for the (European) mountain ash

Word Origin for rowan

C16: from Scandinavian; compare Norwegian rogn, raun, Old Norse reynir
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for rowan

"mountain ash," 1804, from rowan-tree, rountree (1540s), northern English and Scottish, from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse reynir, Swedish Ronn "the rowan"), ultimately from the root of red, in reference to the berries.

There were those in this neighbourhood, long after the beginning of the present century, who believed that a slip of rowan tree carried on their person dispelled glamour, and rendered nugatory all the powers of sorcery and witchcraft. [Alexander Laing, "Lindores Abbey and the Burgh of Newburgh," Edinburgh, 1876]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper